Around 40 wedding guests, including serving members of the Paratroop regiment in full uniform, were involved in a brawl at Melton’s Royal British Legion on Friday night.
The mother of the 22-year-old groom said afterwards that her son - one of the paratroopers caught up in the disturbance, was ‘devastated’ that his big day was ruined by the outbreak of violence.
Police sent a number of officers to deal with the incident, which started at 8.45pm, and they say two people were taken to hospital for treatment for injuries.
It is believed to have started following an altercation between a member of the bride’s family and someone from the family of the groom.
The wedding party was taking place in a function room downstairs and when the disturbance took place mourners leaving a funeral wake from an upstairs room were understood to have got caught up in it.
The groom’s mother, who declined to be named, said: “My son is absolutely devastated by what happened because it is a day he will never get back.
“We are very embarrassed as a family that the night ended like that and we are devastated by it too.
“There were young children there at the party and they have never seen anything like that happen before.”
George Scothern, who has only recently taken over as bar manager at the town’s legion branch, said he was unhappy that police took 15 minutes to arrive at the scene, although police say they responded much quicker than that.
He said: “There were four police cars here in the end but the first officers took 15 minutes to get here and last ones were here half-an-hour after it started.
“I would have thought 40 people fighting, including Army troops, would have been a priority for the police.”
Mr Scothern praised the behaviour of the military guests at the party, which started at 7pm, and he said he would have no hesitation in booking another party involving members of the armed forces. He said he would ensure he had security staff, though, for future functions to prevent, or deal with, any potential disturbances.
“I made sure the building was cleared two minutes after the fighting started and it carried on outside,” added Mr Scothern.
“My priority was making sure my staff and customers were safe and none of my staff were injured in the incident.”
Leicestershire Police said the initial report was that only five people were involved and they had officers on the scene at 8.49pm, within four minutes of the fight breaking out, with further resources joining them shortly afterwards.
A force spokesperson said: “At 8.45pm we received a report of a fight taking place at Thorpe End, Melton Mowbray.
“The call was treated as a Grade 1 incident – meaning that it was a priority.”
The spokesperson added: “A number of people were involved, two of which received hospital treatment for injuries sustained during the incident.
“Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing.
“No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police on 101 quoting 19*173971.
The Ministry of Defence declined to comment without being told the names of any service personnel involved and their regiments.